After the meeting, the home ministry sought a report from the L-G over the incident.
New Delhi: In an unprecedented incident that halted the Delhi government machinery on Tuesday, chief secretary (CS) Anshu Prakash was allegedly manhandled by two MLAs of the ruling AAP at CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Monday night.
The IAS officers retaliated on Tuesday by allegedly beating up city minister Imran Hussain and AAP leader Asish Khetan at Delhi Secretariat. A group of officers later met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and L-G Anil Baijal and demanded that an FIR be registered and the culprits be arrested. They also said they would boycott all meetings till the CM apologised.
After the meeting, the home ministry sought a report from the L-G over the incident. The home minister said he was deeply pained by the happenings. He tweeted: “The civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear.”
On the other hand, AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal sent a complaint to the L-G’s office and the Delhi police commissioner, seeking act-ion against the CS for his conduct at Mr Kejriwal’s meeting. He alleged that the CS used derogatory language against him and MLA Ajay Dutt when they asked him about the problems in ration delivery.
The Delhi police lodged an FIR on a complaint from Mr Prakash under various sections, including 120B (criminal conspiracy), 186 (obstructing a public servant from performing the duty) and 353 (assault on public servant) against AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan and others.
Meanwhile AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal has been detained by South Delhi Police in the assault case. Mr Prakash filed an FIR against Mr Jarwal under various sections and FIR against Amanatullah Khan.
In his complaint to the Delhi police, Mr Prakash called the “attack on him at Kejriwal’s residence premeditated”.
He further alleged that the MLAs also threatened to lock him up in a room all night if he does not release the TV campaign planned for the occasion.
The ruling AAP, however, denied the “ludicrous” allegations and accused Mr Prakash of acting at “BJP’s behest”. The incident has snowballed into a major slugfest, with AAP minister Imran Hussain alleging that he was attacked at Delhi Secreta-riat by officials who were protesting the alleged assault. Hussain has also filed a police complaint.
Giving his version of what transpired at the CM’s residence, Mr Prak-ash said he was called to the chief minister’s house at midnight on Monday though he expressed his reservations to Mr Kejri-wal’s advisor repeatedly. He said that when he reached the CM’s residence, there were 11 MLAs present there already.
“The CM told me the MLAs had come to ask questions about the government’s publicity programme. One MLA firmly shut the door of the room,” he stated.
Mr Prakash said that he explained to the officials that they were bound by the Supreme Court guidelines and couldn’t run any advertisements that were not in consonance with them. At this stage, he said the MLAs started shouting at him and abused him for not doing enough for the publicity of the Delhi government. “One MLA, who I can identify, threatened to lock me up in the room for the entire night unless I agreed to release the TV campaign. A threat was made that I will be implicated in false cases, including under the SC/ST Act. Then suddenly, MLA Amanatullah Khan and another MLA, without any provocation from my side, started assaulting me and landed several blows on my head and temples with their fists,” he said, adding that no one in the room came to his help.
Mr Prakash, demanding strict action against those involved, said he was able to leave the residence with great difficulty.
The AAP has rubbished the allegations. Presenting a different picture of what transpired on Monday, AAP leader Atishi Marle-na said the meeting was called because 2.5 lakh families were deprived of rations last month due to faulty implementation of Aadhaar.
“The chief secretary refused to answer questions saying that he was answerable only to the LG and not to MLAs and CM. He even used bad language against some MLAs and left without answering any questions. Moreover, it is false information that the meeting and the argument were about TV ads,” Ms Marlena said.
IAS Association secretary Manisha Saxena said that the home minister has assured them of action. “We apprised the home minister of repeated verbal and physical assault by the Delhi government staff. Assault on the chief secretary is completely unprecedented, we demand action,” she said.
The officials will stage a candlelight march at Rajghat on Wednesday and said they will go on strike till action is taken against the accused MLAs. “The officers will work but continue to protest wearing black ribbon,” Ms Saxena said.
Later in the evening, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia alleged that attempts were being made to derail the work done by its government and rubbished the allegations as ‘baseless’. “Ministers and staff have been ill-treated. It is clear that attempts are being made to derail the work of Delhi government,” Mr Sisodia said.
He was referring to the chaos which unfolded inside the secretariat as Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain was mobbed by over a hundred officials and staff following the allegations.
The AAP government also released a video showing Mr Hussain being roughed up and his APA Himanshu Singh being thrashed by a section of the agitating staff.